Unsuitable by Ainslie Paton

UnsuitableWhy I read it:  I received a review copy from the author. 

In the interests of disclosure, the author and I chat on Twitter often and we met when I was in Sydney in March of this year. If I didn’t think I could be objective I wouldn’t review her work here.  Ultimately, it is for readers of the review to decide if it has any value to them.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Can they make trailblazing and homemaking fit, or is love just another gender stereotype?

Audrey broke the glass ceiling.

Reece swapped a blue collar for a pink collar job.

She’s a single mum by design. He’s a nanny by choice.

She gets passed over for promotion. He struggles to find a job.

She takes a chance on him. He’s worth more than he knows.

There’s an imbalance of power. There’s an age difference.

There’s a child whose favourite word is no.

Everything about them being together is unsuitable.

Except for love.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  I moved this one up the TBR queue when I realised it had a male nanny.  Not only is he a male nanny, he’s tall and broad, so he doesn’t fit the physical picture of a male nanny one may naturally assume.  That’s not me being sexist – that’s made explicit in the book.  His body actually works against him when he’s looking for work in his chosen field.   He doesn’t look like a thug but he does look like a muscly giant of a man.  Very nice to look at in the man candy stakes but kind of incongruous when paired with a nanny role.  Let’s face it, nannying is considered “women’s work” – not just by men, by almost everyone.  There’s no reason this should be the case, other than prejudice but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

The Changeup by Rhonda Shaw

TheChangeupWhy I read it:  I received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley.  Also, it’s a younger man/older woman (she’s only 34, but still) story and I love them. The Changeup is out on now.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Playing for keeps

After nine years of striking out in the dating department, Maddie Hamlin is throwing in the towel. But just as this mom resolves to remain single, she meets sweet and sexy pitching phenom Chase Patton at a family dinner. He’s perfect for her and aside from the fact he’s only twenty-two.

Chase knows he should be focusing on his rookie year with the Detroit Rockets, but he can’t stop thinking about Maddie. He doesn’t care that the beautiful school counselor is twelve years older, and he’s already lost his heart to her adorable daughter. When an incredible date leads to an incredible night of passion, he knows he never wants to let her go.

But dating in the media spotlight is a whole new ball game. Maddie quickly discovers that not everyone accepts their unconventional relationship and that finding love may mean losing everything else.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  My reaction to this book is complicated.  I wanted to like it more than I did.  There were some things I liked about it very much – enough that I am looking forward to the next book (which I hope features my favourite character, Karen).  The premise attracted me so much that I bumped it to the top of my TBR and read it almost as soon as I downloaded it.  However, I felt a lot of things were under-developed and I wasn’t entirely sure I liked either Maddie or Chase sufficiently well to root for their HEA.

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